Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Domestic Blissfulness

Having finished the Bar Exam and not yet (a) started my last semester of classes, or (b) started working, I have been immersing myself in life's simpler pleasures....taking Elsa for walks, sleeping in a little, drinking my coffee more slowly in the morning, keeping the house in order, cooking, watching the Olympics with Bret, and, most deliciously, baking cookies.

Every time I bake, as an adult, I am taken back to the many many days when, as a little girl, I baked with my Gram. Those are some of my earliest and most fond memories. I can't stir cookie dough without thinking of myself and Gram doubled over in laughter in her kitchen over the fact that her old wooden spoon finally broke in half, mid-stir in a batch of toll house chocolate chip cookies. And I never fail to think of the giant yellow tupperware bowl she had, and hearing the story about Gram taking dough in that bowl to my mom, who was pregnant with me at the time, so that they could make cut-out cookies together. She placed the bowl atop her car, got in, and, having left it there, sped off. By the time she realized it, the dough was rolled out across the road.

Gram & Me, circa 1983

Though I may not be very good at it, I've always felt that baking is the one activity (or one of the very few) that calms and grounds me. And so, when my friend Heather clued me in to the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe, I bookmarked it for after the Bar. LUCKILY, I got a KitchenAid 9-speed Handmixer for my Birthday for such occasions! (Thanks, Mom & Dad Lewis!)

The Result: Deliciousness!

The recipe calls for instant espresso powder, so I e-mailed Heather to find out what she used to fulfill that ingredient. She responded that a certain brand of instant espresso powder should be RIGHT IN MY GROCERY AISLE! Yay!

This is the part where I miss the D.C. metro area and its grocery stores containing all of the grocery items one could ever desire.

Two grocery stores and no espresso powder after I set out on my search, I opted to brew espresso and add 2 teaspoons of espresso instead of the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of instant powder. Honestly, as Heather warned me might happen, there was not enough espresso taste (read: none) in the cookies, and when I make these again, I'll step it up. I suggest other coffee lovers do the same.

Next Baking Feat: Janey Lewis' World Famous Cheesecake. I can't promise I'll produce the recipe here (or that it will taste quite as good as it does in Skiatook, OK), but I'm looking forward to trying!


Mark said...

And what GREAT cookies they were!! Thanks for sharing them.

whatsthedeal said...

The cookies!! Did yours turn out overly crunchy? I think I may have messed up my recipe. I will ship you the rest of my espresso powder if you want... We should begin a search for a properly espresso-y cookie. I'm tempted to try these out: :)

Janey and Gary said...

Boy, those look good! Glad you are finally having time to slow down and smell the roses. Enjoy - both it and them.

M&D Lewis

p.s. Crunchy is good.